RADIO AMATEUR NEWS & VIEWS, FEBRUARY 2015

RADIO AMATEUR

NEWS & VIEWS

FEBRUARY 2015

IN THIS ISSUE...
Movie Night! HAM-CON Preview VT QSO Party
Secretary's Minutes Breakfast Draws A Crowd

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NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Movie Night!
HK0NA - Malpelo Island

Our movie presentation will be the HK0NA DXpedition to Malpelo Island. Malpelo Island, which is a World Heritage Site, is located 235 miles from Colombia's Pacific coast and about 225 miles from Panama's coast. It is uninhabited except for a small military post manned by the Colombian Army. This island is mostly barren rock with three peaks, the highest almost 1000 ft high. The waters around the island is home to many shark populations which made the trip to and from the island in rubber zodiac boats all the more exciting. It is also home to many groups of birds who were nesting at the time of the DXpedition and weren't very friendly when anyone got too close to a nest! See what the DXpedition members dealt with high daytime temperatures, steep climbs and long hikes to get to their operating with all their gear, food, and water as well as narrow propagation windows once they were set up.


HAM-CON PREVIEW

Mitch W1SJ

HAM-CON is only 3 weeks away and we have another monster show for you! There will be so many things youíll want to see all at once that youíll go crazy trying to do it all!

We have all sorts of great forums to learn new things about radio communication. This year, we have an Elecraft forum run by David Shoaf KG6IRW via Skype from the West Coast. If you have ever called Elecraft with a technical question, chances are you have spoken to David. For our Elecraft owners, David will go over some of the classic problems he usually sees and some nifty tricks you can try. For our non-Elecraft owners, he will tell you why they are so good and how to order one!

Our guest speaker from the ARRL is Bob Allison WB1GCM. He will present two forums, one on what the ARRL Lab does and what kind equipment they have. The second forum will focus on the technical reviews of amateur equipment and how to make sense of all the measurements that they take and report.

Everyone has been asking questions about the Digital Voice modes which have become very popular around large cities. Fear not, as we will bring in Paul Anzalone N1PA and Bob DeMattia K1IW to talk about things like DSTAR and DMR and what they mean to you. Both own multiple repeaters and Bob is the president of NESMC, the coordinator for the rest of New England, so they know their stuff!

John Grow VE2EQL is back again with a couple of great forums. First, he will talk about high performance wire antennas. Wire antennas are real cheap and can work real well, IF they are put up properly. His second forum will be on the state of small kit building. He will have a variety of simple transceivers built up from kits to show you.

Rex Harper W1REX from QRPme will be on hand this year to show off some of his available kits. He will be hosting a QRP get together after HAM-CON.

Speaking of show and tell, we will have numerous mini-forums throughout the day in the Activities Room featuring Digital Voice Radio, Transceiver Kits, and other interesting items. And we will again have special event station W1V on the air from the show.

As this is the ARRL Vermont State Convention, Division Director Tom Frenaye K1KI will be on hand to lead the ARRL Forum so we can find out about the ARRL in its second 100 years!

Oh, and by the way, we have a flea market and dealers in the room next door. Donít forget about that! RANV will once again run the Flea Market table for members to sell their stuff while running around the show. And we have door prizes! The grand prize is a TCL 40" 1080 pixel LED High Definition TV with built-in Roku streaming, provided by WCAX-TV. We will also have kits by QRPme and Ten Tec, books from the ARRL and assorted other items. Make sure you stay for the Closing Ceremonies and drawing at 12:55 for a chance to win.

But the best reason to attend HAM-CON: hundreds of hams from all over Northern New England and the Burlington area will be on hand to meet and greet. It is Vermont's Ham Radio show - make sure you get there!


VERMONT QSO PARTY 2015

Mitch W1SJ

The 2015 Vermont QSO Party will take place Saturday-Sunday February 7th through 8th UTC. The activity will start 7 PM EST on Friday the 6th and finish up Sunday night at 7PM.

The purpose of the Vermont QSO Party is to put Vermont on the air! That said, the goal is for as many hams to get on the air during the weekend and maximize the number of contacts. In addition, the Minnesota and British Columbia QSO Parties, the 10-10 International Contest, the CW Sprint and Black Sea Contest will be running concurrently, so there should be no shortage of people to work.

A comment that I hear each year is how rare Vermont is in the Vermont QSO Party! The few active stations are easy to find, but after that, finding Vermont stations is tough. We ask that everyone get on and call CQ for a while - especially during the peak times in the afternoons. Folks outside of Vermont really do want to do well - the top three scorers receive a bottle of maple syrup!

Operating in the Vermont QSO Party is easy - just give a signal report and your county and copy signal report and state, province or country. Full rules are on the RANV web site. But if you plan to work stations in the other contests, it would be worth your time to learn their exchanges so that you can help them out too.

Before the QSO Party, do some research on contest logging to make things easier for both you and the log checker (me). N1MM Logger is the gold standard for logging these days, but any software which generates a proper Cabrillo log will do. While we will accept a paper log, this is not ideal, because I have to collect it from the PO Box and then check it by hand - but please do operate and submit a log!

Once again I'll be hosting a multi-op effort at my station. This is a great opportunity to get some operating time in. This event is particularly nice because it is quite low key and the QRM is low. And unlike Field Day, there isn't a whole bunch of people watching over you, so it is more relaxing. I'd like to fill all of the operating slots during the day, so please do contact me with desired times.

Spread the word - and see you on during the Vermont QSO Party, February 7-8th.


Secretary's Minutes

Kathi K1WAL

Business discussed was HAM-CON details: forums, Jeff N1YD will do a demo, Mike N1FBZ will have his Tech Table with service monitor, and forum topics.

Bob KB1WXM will provide snacks for the February meeting.

Presentation: Ham Radio Digital Communications

The feedback I received from the Bob W4YFJ's presentation on Digital Modes was very good! It was Bob who first introduce me to digital modes starting with RTTY!

He started with some of the advantages of digital modes (error correcting, can transmit text and images, works will with low power and modest antennas). He described his favorite, Ham Radio Deluxe, in detail. Ham Radio Deluxe is a complete package which includes multiple rig control, logbook/DX cluster, and digital modes with Digital Master (DM780). Digital Master includes many popular modes such as CW, RTTY, PSK, MFSK, MT63, THOR, and more. He also explained how to create and use macros. In Emergency Communications these modes can be used to send e-mails over the radio and send lists such as supplies needed for a shelter quickly and will few or no fills. Digital modes are a great way to expand your radio experience!


BREAKFAST DRAWS A CROWD

Mitch W1SJ

The annual Vermont Ham Breakfast was another big event with just around 40 people showing up. And these folks are motivated! When I arrived at 8:45, just before the 9:00 opening, there were already 25 people seated, with some already eating. JP's always has a great selection of both breakfast and lunch type meals and everyone appeared happy with the food. Our discussion topic was, "What did you do in Ham Radio for the ARRL Centennial"? Many indicated that they operated in some form or another. A few went to the ARRL National Convention in July and a few others built something. Anyone who says that ham radio is dying would have definitely got a different picture after hearing from this group! And the point is to keep up the on-air activity, hamfest visits and building. Just this month we have a number of hamfests and contests to partake in. Ham Radio will always be strong when we all are active in it!

While most of the attendees were from the Burlington area, we had a bunch from St. Albans, several from Central Vermont, and a couple from New York and Quebec. RANV members attending: Paul AA1SU, Carl AB1DD, Joe K1VMT, Bob KB1FRW, Steve KB1IVE, Spencer KB1PDW, Eric KB1VNA, Dave KC1APK, Jim KE1AZ, Brian N1BQ, Glenn N1WCK, John VE2EQL, Suzanne VE2SZN, Mitch W1SJ, Sarah W1SLR Bob W4WFJ, Brian WB2JIX.



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